Ontario Health Coalition calls for end to subsidizing private long-term care homes
In a passionate, virtual news conference Friday morning over Zoom, volunteers with the Ontario Health Coalition took a stand against for-profit long-term care.
The group said the Ford government plans to award public dollars to private operators for long-term care beds.
"Many of the for-profit beds are being awarded to providers that had some of the most egregious records during the COVID-19 pandemic and they are nonetheless being awarded new licenses and will continue to make profits if they are successful getting these licenses at the expense of seniors and other vulnerable people," said the coalition's Al Dupuis.
Dupuis said the province's plans defy logic. The Ontario Health Coalition has compiled a report that outlines which providers are getting which beds from the provincial government.
The Coalition also found non-profit homes and municipally owned homes are getting the minority of new beds being allocated by the province.
"The report … wasn't new to me because I have been part of the healthcare scene in Sudbury for more than 50 years," said the coalition's Dot Klein.
"We have to start putting our efforts into supporting our municipally owned long-term care facilities and not-for-profits and stop thinking that we can get off easy by calling in a company that has shown us (poor numbers) throughout the pandemic."
Jason Maclennan said he lost his grandmother from an infection in a for-profit long-term care home.
"I certainly don't want to go to long-term care -- I'd rather be pushed in front of a bus than with some of the experiences that I've had," he said.
"Where is all the media on this? Why are they not asking the provincial government the tough questions? We're doing the talking, just fix the issue."
CTV Northern Ontario, the Sudbury Star as well as several outlets from North Bay were all on the Zoom news conference.
Klein said the coalition has reached out to the province to present them its findings and outline its concerns, but for the most part it's fallen on deaf ears.
CTV News reached out to the Ministry of Long Term Care to give it an opportunity to respond but hadn't received a response as of Friday evening.